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A great want of historical perspective is shown by those, critics who judge the Mosaic Law by the humanitarian and sentimental canons of the twentieth century.A recent writer (Keane, "The Moral Argument against the Inspiration of the Old Testament" in the Hibbert Journal, October, 1905, p.
On this principle we may account for and defend the command given by God to exterminate certain nations, and the permission given by Him to the Israelites to spoil the Egyptians.The tribes of Chanaan richly deserved the fate to which they were condemned by God ; and if there were innocent people among the guilty, God is the absolute Lord of life and death, and He commits no injustice when He takes away what He has given.Besides, He can make up by gifts of a higher order in another life for sufferings which have been patiently endured in this life.To meet this adverse criticism it will be sufficient to indicate a few general principles that should not be lost sight of, and then to treat a few points in greater detail.It has always been freely admitted by Christians that the Mosaic Law is an imperfect institution; still Christ came not to destroy it but to fulfil and perfect it.Because the code of morality which we have in the Old Testament was inspired by God and imposed by Him on His people, it follows that there is nothing in it that is immoral or wrong.
It was indeed imperfect, if it be compared with the higher morality of the Gospel, but, for all that, it contained nothing that is blameworthy.
What is there said of divorce is applicable to plurality of wives.
The strict law of marriage was made known to our first parents in Paradise : "They shall be two in one flesh" ( Genesis ).
The slave himself probably thought no more of the operation than does a South African beauty, when her lip or ear is pierced for the lip-ring and the ear-ring, which in her estimation are to add to her charms.
It is really too much when a staid professor makes such a prescription the ground for a grave charge of inhumanity against the law of Moses .
The Old and the New Testament, Christ and His Apostles, Jewish as well as Christian tradition, agree in asserting that Moses wrote down the Law at the direct inspiration of God.